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      ACE Subpoenas Target IPTV Services, Piracy Apps, and Streaming Portals

      news.movim.eu / TorrentFreak · Monday, 17 June - 10:47 · 3 minutes

    ACE logo The Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment ( ACE ), arguably the world’s most active anti-piracy coalition, is backed by dozens of major rightsholders.

    The group is largely managed by the Motion Picture Association, which has requested many DMCA subpoenas on its behalf over the past few years.

    New Subpoena Round

    After the MPA’s former Chief of Global Content Protection Jan Van Voorn left for a new opportunity , ACE went quiet on the subpoena front. The legal requests were always signed by Van Voorn, so someone else had to fill this role going forward. But who?

    The answer arrived late last week when several new subpoena requests were docketed at a California federal court. The requests are similar to those seen before, now signed by Dani Bacsa, MPA’s Deputy Chief of Content Protection.

    Through the subpoenas, ACE asks Cloudflare and the .To domain registry (Tonic) for information related to several domain names. These targets can be broadly divided into three groups – streaming sites, apps, and IPTV services – some with dozens of millions of monthly visits.

    Pirate Streaming Sites

    Anime site Anitaku is the most prominent target, with more than 125 million visits between March and May. However, other sites such as Goojara and Kickassanime have no traffic shortage either.

    The subpoenas target a total of 17 pirate streaming site domains. ACE and the MPA hope that, through their requests for information, they can learn more about the identities and whereabouts of the operators.

    Domains with the most traffic ( full list here )

    Domain 3 Month Visits
    Anitaku.so 127 million
    Anitaku.to 94 million
    Goojara.to 82 million
    Kickassanime.mx 55 million
    Animesonlinecc.to 54 million

    Piracy Apps and IPTV

    In addition to streaming sites, ACE has also listed domain names of websites that offer downloads to dedicated piracy apps including ‘Gold Core App’, ‘Live NetTV’, ‘RedPlay’ and ‘MagisTv’.

    redplay magistv

    In addition, the subpoenas include domain names of IPTV portals such as Atlaspro, Newtelevision, and Honeybeeiptv. The latter is particularly popular in Singapore, where it’s one of the most visited sites in the Computers and Technology category.

    As with the other sites and services, links to show how these domains match to infringing titles are included for each domain.

    honeybee

    The goal of these proposed subpoenas is to require Tonic and Cloudflare to share identifying information on the users who maintain the associated accounts. That includes any names, physical addresses, IP addresses, e-mail addresses, payment information, and account histories.

    Helpful, Not Perfect

    Most operators of pirate sites and services know that ACE can obtain these DMCA subpoenas. They often preempt this by using false information. However, according to MPA’s Deputy Chief of Content Protection, Dani Bacsa, these efforts can still pay off.

    Speaking with TorrentFreak, Bacsa says that the subpoenas are part of a legal tool set used to unmask pirates behind mass-scale infringing services. The MPA can’t share its success rate, but subpoenaed information has been fruitful in multiple cases.

    Ideally, ACE, MPA, and other rightsholder representatives would like intermediaries to verify their customers’ identities.

    Without referring specifically to Cloudflare or Tonic, Bacsa confirms that it would be a positive step if online intermediaries adopted robust ‘Know Your Business Customer’ (KYBC) procedures.

    “Applying a KYBC policy will also ensure legal compliance, enhance security, prevent fraud, and protect the intermediary’s reputation by verifying the legitimacy of its business customers and mitigating associated risks,” Bacsa concludes.



    A full list of all targeted domains is available below. The associated paperwork can be found here ( 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6 ).

    – vegamovies.to
    – goojara.to
    – supernova.to
    – animesonlinecc.to
    – anitaku.to
    – ssoap2day.to
    – anitaku.so
    – braflix.video
    – kickassanime.mx
    – movieffm.net
    – hdtodaytv.icu
    – animepahe.com
    – animepahe.org
    – gogoanime.me
    – soaper.tv
    – soap2day.tf
    – soap2day.qa
    – vegamovies.to
    – gold.coreplay.tv
    – livenettv.bz
    – redplaycard.com
    – magistv.app
    – atlaspro.tv
    – atlaspro.io
    – newtelevision.online
    – best-usahosting.com
    – honeybeeiptv.com

    From: TF , for the latest news on copyright battles, piracy and more.

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      Denuvo Owner Shuts Down Clone Sites, Perpertrators Seem Up For a Chase

      news.movim.eu / TorrentFreak · Friday, 14 June - 20:29 · 3 minutes

    denuvo-new Mirror and clone sites were once deployed to keep popular sites alive as they imploded under the weight of their own popularity and ensuing traffic.

    The strategy was famously deployed around Suprnova, one of the original torrent giants. Given how often the whole site went down, unable to cope with unprecedented success, in hindsight it was given an unintentionally appropriate name.

    Today, some clone and mirror sites still exist for the same purpose but most fall off the end of a streaming site conveyor belt, to trade on the popularity of sites with known brands, generate confusion with similar domains, or both.

    As a leading cybersecurity and anti-piracy vendor, Irdeto will be only too aware of the mirror and clone site phenomenon. Whether it expected its own website to be cloned and placed online is up for debate. As the owner of Denuvo, perhaps the most hated anti-piracy tech currently on the market, it probably didn’t come as a surprise.

    DMCA Takedown Notice to GitHub

    Irdeto’s DMCA notice was sent to GitHub on its own behalf, which probably doesn’t happen very often.

    “We are writing to you from Irdeto B.V. (‘Irdeto’). We own the exclusive copyright to Irdeto.com and its related assets,” the notice begins.

    Responding to GitHub’s request to identify the original copyrighted work that had allegedly been infringed, Irdeto pointed towards its own website.

    “Irdeto.com and it’s related assets (such as text, website design, and images) is our copyrighted corporate website. The reported repositories have duplicated the Irdeto website code and assets. As this repository contains a direct copy of Irdeto.com, confirm that we own the copyright for all the contents within the repository.”

    Cloned Sites Operating Under Two Domains

    Irdeto goes on to claim that the owner of the infringing repos, described simply as “this individual” had attempted to impersonate Irdeto. One of the domains used in connection with the cloned website was Irdeto.fr but whether there was a broader plan isn’t revealed in the notice. That being said, the existence of a mail server quite rightly generated additional concern.

    After identifying the repos to be removed, Irdeto requested a rapid takedown and action against the alleged culprit.

    “We respectfully request that Github removes the infringing content expeditiously and suspends the user. If anything is preventing you from removing the reported content, please let us know what additional information is required,” the company wrote.

    The first request was obviously granted by GitHub but whether it took any action against the user is unknown.

    Unexpected

    Suspended from GitHub or not, taking on a company like Irdeto has the potential to end quite badly. At the very least, there are much less risky targets, so who would choose to take on a corporation expecting to beat it at its own game?

    Unable to resist a short look around, we began with basic questions; who owns Irdeto.fr, what other domains do they own, and why are WHOIS records nearly always frustrating?

    Yet amazingly, not at all frustrating today. With no blanket of redactions, no wall-to-wall privacy service, Irdeto.fr seems like an image of openness.

    Registered on January, 28, 2024, Irdeto.fr offers something most domains do not, personal information – or at least that’s what the information suggests it might be. Unwilling to fall into any mischief traps, or possible registration proxies, details redacted below.

    whois-irdeto-fr

    With limited time, the next easy step was to find other domains registered by the same person. Using the email address listed for Irdeto.fr we ran a check and got another suspiciously easy hit.

    The same email address is not only listed against another domain, but a .US domain, which are not usually redacted. This was no exception.

    At this point completely out of time, we took that as a direct order. Almost certainly, Irdeto will not, despite 121K domains left to trawl.

    Irdeto’s DMCA notice is available here

    From: TF , for the latest news on copyright battles, piracy and more.

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      Google, Cloudflare & Cisco Will Poison DNS to Stop Piracy Block Circumvention

      news.movim.eu / TorrentFreak · Thursday, 13 June - 17:19 · 5 minutes

    football block In France, where laws were introduced with site-blocking and similar anti-piracy measures already baked in, entertainment giant Canal+ seems intent on taking full advantage.

    Like similar broadcasters with lucrative sports rights to exploit, Canal+ has a subset of viewers who prefer to consume from pirate sources which charge much less, or even nothing at all.

    To maximize its existing site-blocking efforts through local ISPs, the French broadcaster has now taken the logical, albeit controversial, next step on the site-blocking ladder.

    DNS Tampering at the Local ISP Level

    In 2023, Canal+ went to court in France to tackle pirate sports streaming sites including Footybite.co, Streamcheck.link, SportBay.sx, TVFutbol.info, and Catchystream.com. The broadcaster said that since subscribers of local ISPs were accessing the pirate sites using their services, the ISPs should prevent them from doing so.

    When the decision went in favor of Canal+, ISPs including Orange, SFR, OutreMer Télécom, Free, and Bouygues Télécom, were required to implement technical measures. Since the ISPs have their own DNS resolvers for use by their own customers, these were configured to provide non-authentic responses to deny access to the sites in question.

    In response, increasingly savvy internet users that hadn’t already done so, simply changed their settings to use different DNS providers – Cloudflare, Google, and Cisco – whose resolvers hadn’t been tampered with; at least not yet.

    One More Step Up The Ladder: Public DNS Tampering

    Use of third-party DNS providers to circumvent blocking isn’t uncommon so last year Canal+ took legal action against three popular public DNS providers – Cloudflare ( 1.1.1.1 ), Google ( 8.8.8.8 ), and Cisco ( 208.69.38.205 ), demanding measures similar to those implemented by French ISPs.

    Tampering with public DNS is a step too far for many internet advocates but for major rightsholders, if the law can be shaped to allow it, that’s what will happen. In this case, Article L333-10 of the French Sports Code (active Jan 2022) seems capable of accommodating almost anything.

    When there are “serious and repeated violations” by an “online public communication service” whose main objective is the unauthorized broadcasting of sports competitions, rightsholders can demand “all proportionate measures likely to prevent or put an end to this infringement, against any person likely to contribute to remedying it.”

    Google, Cloudflare, and Cisco Ordered to Prevent Circumvention

    Two decisions were handed down by the Paris judicial court last month; one concerning Premier League matches and the other the Champions League. The orders instruct Google, Cloudflare, and Cisco to implement measures similar to those in place at local ISPs. To protect the rights of Canal+, the companies must prevent French internet users from using their services to access around 117 pirate domains.

    According to French publication l’Informé , which broke the news, Google attorney Sébastien Proust crunched figures published by government anti-piracy agency Arcom and concluded that the effect on piracy rates, if any, is likely to be minimal.

    Starting with a pool of all users who use alternative DNS for any reason, users of pirate sites – especially sites broadcasting the matches in question – were isolated from the rest. Users of both VPNs and third-party DNS were further excluded from the group since DNS blocking is ineffective against VPNs.

    Proust found that the number of users likely to be affected by DNS blocking at Google, Cloudflare, and Cisco, amounts to 0.084% of the total population of French Internet users. Citing a recent survey, which found that only 2% of those who face blocks simply give up and don’t find other means of circumvention, he reached an interesting conclusion.

    “2% of 0.084% is 0.00168% of Internet users! In absolute terms, that would represent a small group of around 800 people across France!”

    Court Rejected Arguments Against Blocking

    In common with other courts presented with the same arguments, the Paris court said the number of people using alternative DNS to access the sites, and the simplicity of switching DNS, are irrelevant.

    Canal+ owns the rights to the broadcasts and if it wishes to request a blocking injunction, it has the legal right to do so.

    The DNS providers’ assertion that their services are not covered by the legislation was also waved aside by the court.

    Google says it intends to comply with the order. As part of the original matter in 2023, it was already required to deindex the domains from search results under the same law.

    At least in theory, this means that those who circumvented the original blocks using these alternative DNS services, will be back to square one and confronted by blocks all over again.

    Given that circumventing this set of blocks will be as straightforward as circumventing the originals, that raises the question of what measures Canal+ will demand next, and from whom.

    Tribunal Judiciare de Paris | Canal+ | Cloudflare/Google/Cisco
    Premier League UEFA Champions league
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    From: TF , for the latest news on copyright battles, piracy and more.

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      UEFA Targets Pirate EURO 2024 Live Streams Before They Start

      news.movim.eu / TorrentFreak · Thursday, 13 June - 11:19 · 3 minutes

    euro 2024 UEFA is the international body that governs football throughout Europe.

    As part of FIFA, the organization holds the rights to several major competitions and tournaments, including the Champions League and the European Championships .

    These events are good for billions of euros in broadcasting rights and with these types of figures at stake, UEFA is understandably keeping a close eye on piracy. The job has become increasingly complex, now that unauthorized live-streaming is booming.

    EURO 2024 Pirates

    With the EURO 2024 tournament starting in Germany tomorrow, the organization and its anti-piracy partners are on high alert. Systems are in place to detect and shut down pirate streams within minutes, and social media will be heavily monitored as well.

    UEFA is not the only organization preparing for the major tournament; pirates are planning ahead as well. In recent weeks, several sites have put up placeholders for the upcoming EURO 2024 matches.

    These placeholders are picked up and indexed by search engines. As a result, the pirate sites are easily findable when match day comes. That is, if these pages are still in search engines by then.

    According to Google’s transparency report, UEFA anti-piracy partner ‘Friend MTS’ asked the search engine to remove thousands of ‘pirate’ live-streaming links over the past week. This includes links to EURO 2024 games that are not even ‘live’ yet.

    Preemptive Takedowns

    The Chinese site below, for example, prepared a dedicated page for upcoming Euro 2024 live streams. After Friend MTS listed the URL in a takedown notice, Google promptly removed it. The same is true for other “EURO 2024” pirate streaming placeholders.

    euro

    Google has removed most of these links from its search index. Although there is technically no copyright infringement yet, Google presumably finds it reasonable to assume that links to pirated streams will appear there eventually, as advertised.

    In some cases, UEFA’s requests are rather broad. For example, one of the EURO 2024 takedowns lists a page from Leisu.com that doesn’t mention live streams. Instead, it looks more like a live score page.

    According to its own website, Leisu Sports is the official ‘ copyright data supplier ‘ of the Chinese Football Association.

    takedown

    We don’t know whether Google looked into the matter in detail, but the company removed the leisu.com URL from its search results. That said, Google doesn’t simply take down every link that’s submitted.

    Homepage Removals

    After looking into more UEFA takedown requests from this month, including friendly matches that were played over the past days, we see many ‘homepages’ of pirate streaming sites listed. Google appears to be more reserved when it comes to such broad requests.

    For example, 123koora.com, amzfutbol.com, rojadirectenvivo.me, and others are still indexed by Google, despite being listed in takedown requests.

    takedown

    It’s clear that UEFA will be pulling out all the stops to ensure that licensed broadcasts are properly protected. In the past, it also sent advance warnings to pirate site owners directly, but we haven’t heard similar reports this time around.

    EUIPO Support

    While Europe is gearing up for the Championship of the continent’s most popular sport, UEFA received some indirect support from the European Union’s Intellectual Property Office.

    Yesterday, EUIPO put a spotlight on the alarming sports streaming piracy rates in the EU. The press release mostly regurgitates previously published reports, but that didn’t prevent mainstream media from picking it up.

    “According to EUIPO data, millions of EU citizens access or stream sports content from illegal online sources while fake sports equipment cost manufacturers €850 million per year,” EUIPO wrote.

    One can wonder whether a reminder of the immense popularly of pirate live streams actually works as an advertisement to the general public, instead of a deterrent. After all, research has shown that these popularity ‘warnings’ can backfire.

    EUIPO’s intentions are clear; however. It wants fans to ‘play fair’ and use legitimate viewing options, as pirate ‘cheers’ don’t pay off.

    From: TF , for the latest news on copyright battles, piracy and more.

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      Redfox Disappearance Puts a Spotlight on Defiant StreamFab

      news.movim.eu / TorrentFreak · Wednesday, 12 June - 14:52 · 3 minutes

    redfox More than a decade ago, decryption licensing outfit AACS began to crack down on DVD and Blu-Ray ripping software.

    Founded by Disney, Warner Bros, Intel, and Microsoft, among others , the licensing outfit put legal pressure on the makers of AnyDVD and DVDFab, which were the key players at the time.

    AACS eventually booked a legal victory against DVDFab in a US court, but that did little to stop the operation . Pressure on AnyDVD’s parent company Slysoft, meanwhile, did yield results as the software was taken down. That was only temporary, however, as some of AnyDVD developers restarted the business under a new name , RedFox.

    For the next eight years, the DVDFab and AnyDVD products managed to survive. With online streaming taking over, both outfits also launched new software to rip streaming content, in addition to old-fashioned discs.

    RedFox, for example, offered the AnyStream tool, which proved to be quite popular. Streaming platforms, including Netflix, worked hard to make these tools unusable, resulting in a seemingly endless cat-and-mouse decryption game.

    RedFox Disappears

    Without prior warning, the RedFox website suddenly ‘disappeared’ late last week. There is no sign that the software outfit ran into legal trouble, but some of its products have been rendered useless. This isn’t the first time that RedFox has suffered downtime, but after more than five days, many users fear the worst.

    Over the past few days, we have tried to find out what’s going on, but unfortunately, the RedFox team remains quiet. An email sent to our contact there never arrived, as the mail server is unreachable as well.

    There is no shortage of speculation online to explain the downtime. While we prefer not to entertain these theories, there are a few things worth highlighting.

    First, there is no evidence that the RedFox site was pulled offline by an external force. The site isn’t working because the domain name’s A records were removed on June 6, and the same is true for the MX records.

    As a result, browsers and email clients don’t know where to send requests.

    redfox dns

    It’s not clear who removed these records, but external interventions by domain registries and registrars are generally marked with ICANN codes, and we don’t see any here. Since this is a domain name configuration issue, there is no sign that there’s a hosting problem either.

    Without any signs of external interventions, there is not much to report on. For now, everyone except the RedFox team is in the dark, and time will tell whether the site will resurface or not.

    StreamFab Gains Users (and pressure)

    The RedFox trouble hasn’t gone unnoticed at the DVDFab/StreamFab team. Looking for an alternative stream ripping tool, AnyStream users are checking out the competition now, similar to what happened when Slysoft shut down AnyDVD many years ago.

    This puts a new spotlight on DVDFab, which it probably doesn’t mind. The company has been around for more than 20 years now and seems unfazed by any legal pressure.

    After ignoring the initial court order in favor of AACS issued a decade ago, DVDFab continued to exist. The same can be said for the legal troubles.

    While StreamFab doesn’t appear to circumvent AACS’s Blu-Ray decryption, DVDFab and related tools do. In recent years, the legal battle continued at a federal court in New York, resulting in a massive damages verdict and a broad injunction a few months ago.

    Last summer, U.S. District Court Judge Vernon Broderick ruled in favor of AACS, ordering DVDFab and its presumed operator Lanny Chen to pay nearly $15 million in damages.

    dvdfab judgement

    In addition, the court ordered the operation to shut down. This injunction also required banks, domain registrars, and other intermediaries to cease working with the software company.

    StreamFab wasn’t specifically covered by the injunction but, since it’s linked to the same operators, it’s not immune to the broad injunction, which expands to hosting providers and payment services too.

    As a result of the injunction, DVDFab lost some of its domain names, including dvdfab.com which was put on ‘serverHold’ by the domain registry. However, other domains survived and the software company continues to operate to this day. That includes StreamFab.

    This lawsuit and the resulting injunction have nothing to do with RedFox’s recent troubles. There is no AACS lawsuit against RedFox that we know of. If anything, however, it indicates that it’s not easy to shut down a software company that’s determined to stay online.

    Update: To clarify, activated copies of AnyDVD still work, and so do versions of AnyDVD HD with an offline key database (for older titles).

    From: TF , for the latest news on copyright battles, piracy and more.

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      Plex Cracks Down on Media Server ‘Hacks’

      news.movim.eu / TorrentFreak · Wednesday, 12 June - 11:20 · 2 minutes

    plex logo Plex is a multifunctional media software and service that allows users to easily access all of their entertainment in one place.

    Whether movies, music, TV shows, or photos, Plex can organize and index, making the content ready to stream on a wide variety of supported devices.

    Plex can be used for curating home videos or enriching purchased media with metadata, for example, which can be stored on the media server. In addition, the company offers Plex Pass, a premium subscription that provides access to hundreds of live TV channels and more than 50,000 on-demand titles.

    Plex Pirates

    Lately, Plex has been working closely with some of the major content publishers to give provide access to licensed entertainment. At the same time, however, it is also battling a group of ‘pirates’ who abuse their system by publicly sharing libraries with infringing content.

    Last summer, Plex surprised users by actively blocking media servers hosted at large German company Hetzner. These were, purportedly, often used to share pirated material and an outright ban aimed to end this unauthorized activity.

    Plex also targeted a GitHub repository that allowed people to reshare Plex libraries that were not originally theirs. This workaround was used to share content with broader audiences than originally intended, without the owners’ permission.

    New Problem: Media Server Hack

    The ‘reshare’ repository was removed by GitHub, and it was removed from Docker soon after. While there are still copies of the code floating around today, Plex already has a new problem on its hands.

    A few days ago, anti-piracy outfit MarkScan sent a DMCA notice to GitHub on behalf of Plex. According to the takedown request, there are several repositories that contain code used to ‘hack’ Plex’s media server.

    “We have found that users on your platform are providing codes to hack Plex servers. Therefore, we request that you remove the below URLs from your website,” the takedown notices reads.

    dmca notice

    Free Pass and Godmode

    The notice isn’t particularly specific, but archived copies of the repositories, which have since been removed, explain more clearly what the code could do. For example, plexmediaserver_crack enabled “Godmode”, allowing people to use all features without a subscription.

    “Enables Godmode, unlocking all features on (hardware transcoding, intro/credit detection, HEVC transcoding, etc..) on Plex Media Server. Including Plex Pass features without a required subscription, and including early-access/development/Plex Ninja features.”

    server crack

    A companion repository titled ‘ plexpass_hook ‘ fools Plex into believing that a user has a paid Plex Pass subscription, making it possible to skip intros as well.

    While the code itself doesn’t appear to be copyright infringing, it might circumvent Plex’s technological protection measures, which violates the DMCA. In any case, GitHub didn’t hesitate, and the repositories were swiftly removed.

    github dmca

    From: TF , for the latest news on copyright battles, piracy and more.

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      German ISPs Block Romslab Due to Widespread Game Piracy

      news.movim.eu / TorrentFreak · Tuesday, 11 June - 18:22 · 2 minutes

    romslab Three years ago, German Internet providers agreed to voluntarily block the most egregious pirate sites.

    The ISPs teamed up with copyright holders and launched the “Clearing Body for Copyright on the Internet” ( CUII ), which is now responsible for handing down blocking ‘orders’.

    While CUII doesn’t rely on court judgments, there is some form of oversight. When copyright holders report a pirate site, a review committee first checks whether the domain is indeed linked to a website that structurally infringes copyrights.

    If a website overwhelmingly hosts or links to pirated material, the site can be nominated for a blocklist entry. This can apply to torrent sites, streaming portals, search engines and direct download hubs, as long as piracy is front and center.

    Romslab Blocked

    The voluntary system has not yet resulted in a massive blocking wave. Thus far, only nineteen sites have been blocked, with game download portal Romslab as the latest addition.

    In a decision that was published a few days ago, CUII concludes that Romslab is a structurally infringing website. The site, which offers links to pirated games and popular Nintendo emulators including Yuzu and Ryujinx, should be blocked.

    “The request for a recommendation to block the ROMSLAB website is justified. The website is a structural copyright infringing website (SUW). There is a clear infringement of copyright. The blocking is reasonable and proportionate,” CUII concludes.

    romslab

    This isn’t the first video game-related site that has made it onto the German blocklist; Nsw2u and NswGame were added previously.

    Romslab isn’t specifically targeted at a German audience. The site is most popular in Iraq and the United States. According to CUII, the site had 161,330 German ‘visitors’ between March and August last year, less than 1,000 per day.

    Mystery Applicant?

    CUII doesn’t mention the claiming party or the infringed game title by name. Instead, it writes that the game is “created by the game developers ***** and ***** and the composers of the music *****, *****, *****, *****, *****, *****, ***** and *****” .

    romslab cuii

    It doesn’t take much imagination to take an informed guess, however. The paperwork references article 15 of a foreign copyright law, quoting a ‘work for hire’ section that matches article 15 of Japan’s copyright law. That happens to be the home country of Nintendo.

    Added to the fact that the two previously blocked game sites specifically targeted Nintendo content, combined with Nintendo’s site-blocking efforts in other countries, the 135-year-old company would be our pick.

    Not the First Romslab Block

    There are more leads pointing to the Japanese gaming giant if we dig a bit deeper. Romslab was previously blocked in Italy, and a publication from the local telecoms watchdog AGCOM specifically mentions Nintendo as the rightsholder there.

    italy romslab

    Romslab.com is also blocked in Spain since last year. It’s not clear who requested that blockade, but Nintendo is a likely candidate. In Spain, Romslab’s sister site Repacklab.com was also blocked in February of this year.

    In addition to the site blocking efforts, Romslab also had its Twitter account , Facebook page , and Subreddit suspended or removed. The site’s Patreon is still online.

    With Romslab, the German site blocking list has now grown to nineteen entries, and we presume that more candidates are already in the pipeline.

    The websites listed for blocking in Germany since 2021 include: s.to, canna.to, nsw2u.com, newalbumreleases.net, bs.to, streamkiste.tv, kinox.to, cine.to, serienjunkies.org, taodung.com, israbox, jokerlivestream, serienfans.org, filmfans.org, buffstreams, sci-hub, NSWGame, Megakino and Romslab.

    From: TF , for the latest news on copyright battles, piracy and more.

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      Ukraine Commits to Piracy Crackdown, Draws Up Blacklist, Joins WIPO ALERT

      news.movim.eu / TorrentFreak · Thursday, 28 March - 10:46 · 2 minutes

    ukraine After more than two years of incalculable losses following Russia’s full-blown invasion in 2022, Ukraine continues to defy the odds as it fights for the right to exist as an independent state.

    With no obvious end in sight and politics in the United States undermining offensive capability, Ukrainian gains are being reversed in several front line regions, a situation predicted to further deteriorate later this year.

    Yet for a country being consumed by war, Ukraine is still taking time to plan for a future in the EU. In that respect, matters related to intellectual property require the closest attention.

    Ukraine Pushes Ahead With Copyright Reforms

    After progress was reported in 2023 , Ukraine’s Ministry of Economy issued an order dated February 1, 2024, titled: “On Approval of the Procedure for Formation and Maintenance of the National List of Websites Raising Concerns Regarding the Observance of Intellectual Property Rights.”

    On March 11, 2024, the Ministry of Justice registered order 357/41702 and on March 21, 2024, it was adopted by the Ministry of Economy.

    Order (translated) ukraine order

    This will see Ukraine become a full participant in the World Intellectual Property Organization’s WIPO ALERT program , which operates around a centrally-maintained database of piracy platforms nominated by rightsholders in participating countries.

    Ukraine Sees Future in Europe, WIPO Invests in Russia

    Sites and services listed on WIPO ALERT should in theory find it much more difficult to fund their activities through advertising revenue. Ukraine views its participation in the program as a positive step in its bid for closer ties with the EU.

    “Despite the challenges of a full-scale war, we are making every effort to protect copyright and related rights on the Internet for Ukrainian and foreign intellectual property rights holders,” says Yuliia Svyrydenko, First Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine and Minister of Economy.

    “Ukraine has become one of the first countries in the world to comprehensively implement a relevant mechanism based on a secure online platform where authorized member states of the World Intellectual Property Organization can upload information about websites and applications that infringe copyright from the point of view of national norms. This is also a confident step towards Ukraine’s European integration.”

    Yet despite its invasion of Ukraine and threats to Western intellectual property, WIPO continues to operate an office in Moscow and provide funding for projects in Russia.

    That drew a fiery response from Ukraine last summer, which criticized the allocation of significant funds to a country “which blatantly violates WIPO principles and its statutory obligations” and does not “deserve the privilege to host a WIPO Office.”

    Ukraine is the 15th country to join the WIPO ALERT program, following recent additions Uzbekistan and the Philippines. Currently just seven countries allow searching of their databases . They include Italy, Russia, Spain, Peru, Ecuador, Lithuania and Greece.

    From: TF , for the latest news on copyright battles, piracy and more.